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Housing complex planned

By Staff | Jul 10, 2009

A Killarney, Manitoba, building developer is planning a 14-unit housing complex on the east edge of Rugby with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in October.

Harley Johnson, owner of Johnson Builders, has constructed similar one-level units in Bottineau and Killarney. He contacted the Rugby Area Job Development Authority this spring with a proposal to add a complex tailored toward senior housing, in Rugby.

The JDA and Johnson held a public meeting earlier this spring to review the proposed complex. A bus tour was also arranged for local residents to visit the complex in Bottineau.

Brenda Dissette-Foster, JDA executive director, said last week Johnson contacted her, saying he plans to move ahead with the project located near Prairie View Estates. He is going to finance the construction but will apply for a property tax incentive, Dissette-Foster said. The JDA will meet to consider the application for a tax abatement for up to five years. Eventually, it would come before the council. It’s not known if Johnson already has prospective buyers.

Some of the features of Johnson’s complex would include a patio for each suite; a large master bedroom; two bathrooms; insulated garage; refrigerator, range and microwave; laundry and dishwasher hook-up; forced air electric heat and central air conditioning; and interior access to other suites. Contracts for snow removal and lawn care would also be arranged.

Three years ago the JDA conducted a housing survey which indicated a need for more housing options, especially for those reaching retirement age. In response, the JDA began working with state agencies and local builders in looking into constructing more housing units with specific features and amenities attractive to seniors.

Dissette-Foster said Johnson’s planned complex creates some positive spinoffs. It not only provides housing options for residents but also keeps them from moving to other towns where senior housing is more readily available. And over the years there have been residents who moved away because of difficulty in finding suitable housing. The addition would eventually result in more houses on the market, helping the community attract new residents.

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